Anyone who’s played Guitar Hero knows DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and Flames” is the final boss of the guitar. Canadian YouTube Cole Rolland plays it like it’s nothing though in his viral playthrough of the power metal classic.
Rolland does all the tricks, such as playing the blazing fast main riff melody with his hand over the top of the fretboard, and doesn’t miss a single note. The video has been viewed 24 million times and you can check it out for yourself below
The 29-year-old YouTuber, who was born on December 5, 1993, hails from Port Elgin, Canada. Rolland is a singer, guitarist and producer who has built up a following of 1.4 million subscribers on his YouTube channel along with a total of 284 million views.
His cover of “Through the Fire and Flames” is his second most popular video, being surpassed only by his cover of “Canon Rock”, which has 26 million views. The shred guitar piece was originally arranged by Taiwanese guitarist JerryC, who based it on Johann Pachelbel’s 17th century work “Canon in D”. Check out Rolland’s take on it below.
Rolland’s version of “Canon Rock” starts out with a stately classical section, before the drums kick in and the rock and roll starts, with several minutes of wild shredding following that. The Canadian rocker makes it all look so easy despite the demanding nature of the piece.
Rolland’s channel started blowing up in the mid-2010s, where his series of covers by metal acts such as Slipknot, Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold picked up some major traction online. Not content with traditional metal guitar alone though, Rolland also has a number of popular videos featuring arrangements of classical pieces and experimentation with other styles such as pop, alternative and EDM.
The skilled guitarist also has been building his solo career with the release of five studio albums since 2013. Several of these feature cover songs and rearrangements from his YouTube channel, although he also does his own original music, such as his 2023 single “Echo”, which has been one of his most streamed songs on Spotify recently.
It’s got a lot of catching up to do to become as popular as his “Through the Fire and Flames” cover though. The song was released in 2005 as the lead single from DragonForce’s third album Inhuman Rampage. The track quickly became the English power metal band’s biggest hit, charting in the top 100 in the US and Canada, as well as selling 1.1 million copies in the US.
“Through the Fire and Flames” is a popular choice for covers and appearances in rhythm games due to its ridiculously fast tempo and dual lead guitar pyrotechnics, provided by the band’s axemen Herman Li and Sam Totman. Its most notable appearance for gamers is Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which is notoriously one of the most difficult pieces to master, helping to improve the song’s visibility beyond the band’s traditional fanbase.